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N.C. Lottery will pay Scientific Games one way or the other

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: N.C. Lottery will pay Scientific Games one way or the other

Scientific Games might get a piece of North Carolina's lottery action after all.

When the state joins the multi-state Powerball game May 30, the big jackpot game probably will offer a feature allowing players to pay extra for a separate drawing to have winnings (other than the jackpot) multiplied by a random number.

But Scientific Games — now under investigation by the state for possible violations of lobbying law — owns the patent to the extra feature, known as Power Play.

Lottery officials said Tuesday that they want to offer the feature as part of Powerball, as the other 28 Powerball states do.

But the state would have to pay Scientific Games for the rights. The fee would be at least $240,000 a year, officials said.

Waiver is possible

The state also could contract with Scientific Games for some lottery business, which probably would lead to a waiver of the fee, officials said.

Lottery officials contracted with GTECH Corp. of Rhode Island to handle its lottery games.

The state's contract with GTECH allows it to use another vendor, such as Scientific Games, for up to four scratch-off games.

Lottery director Tom Shaheen said that is an option that the lottery commission should explore.

He said the state would at least receive tickets for its spending, versus simply paying a fee.

Commissioners indicated a willingness to explore legal action before paying fees to the company.

Commissioner Max Cogburn Jr., a lawyer from Asheville, said he wondered how a company could patent what is essentially the idea of multiplying winnings.

Executives at Scientific Games, which employed a political aide close to House Speaker Jim Black and had a hand in writing the state's lottery law, could not be reached.

News & Observer

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6 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by NCPicks.
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Northern California
United States
Member #19948
August 9, 2005
151 Posts
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Posted: April 19, 2006, 3:21 pm - IP Logged

I'm amazed no one has questioned the validity of the SGMS "patent". People have been using multipliers for a long time - I'm no attorney but estopel (sp?) would seem to apply here.

 

$240k per year seems like a lot of money in any case.

    Avatar

    United States
    Member #26469
    November 18, 2005
    160 Posts
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    Posted: April 19, 2006, 3:45 pm - IP Logged

    Estoppel:stopped,blocked,or not allowed. Collateral estoppel means that if a judgement has already been made against you,you can't denigh it further.Equitable estoppel means if you take a certain position in a case,you can't change sides later.Rough definitions but close enough.

    Not sure how it would apply here,except in SGMS's favor. 

      Tenaj's avatar - michellea
      Charlotte NC
      United States
      Member #17406
      June 18, 2005
      4053 Posts
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      Posted: April 20, 2006, 8:29 pm - IP Logged

      I'm amazed no one has questioned the validity of the SGMS "patent". People have been using multipliers for a long time - I'm no attorney but estopel (sp?) would seem to apply here.

       

      $240k per year seems like a lot of money in any case.

      Sheehan should have been up on that.  I say screw them and do Multi-Millions.

      takeemtothebank

        Tenaj's avatar - michellea
        Charlotte NC
        United States
        Member #17406
        June 18, 2005
        4053 Posts
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        Posted: April 20, 2006, 8:51 pm - IP Logged

        Yes NodI should have said forget them and do Mega-Millions.LOL

        takeemtothebank

          JAP69's avatar - alas
          South Carolina
          United States
          Member #6
          November 4, 2001
          8790 Posts
          Online
          Posted: April 20, 2006, 9:11 pm - IP Logged

          But Scientific Games — now under investigation by the state for possible violations of lobbying law — owns the patent to the extra feature, known as Power Play.

          Someone explain that to me.

          Do they own the patent on the computer code for printing the  powerplay portion in the lottery software machines?

          Does Scientific Games keep the money collected and they payout to the winners having the powerplay? Like they are taking the powerplay money as a side bet.

           

           

          WHATT

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            United States
            Member #26469
            November 18, 2005
            160 Posts
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            Posted: April 21, 2006, 2:03 pm - IP Logged

            I believe that SG owns it in the same way Pat Riley owns the term "threepeat" or Paris Hilton owns "that's hot".It seems more like a coined phrase than anything else.I'm sure the exact law is quite complicated.